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Student suicide sparks torture charge

Chandannagore, April 6: A 14-year-old student of St Joseph's Convent, Chandannagore, committed suicide in a classroom while the rest of the school had assembled for prayers this morning.

A note, apparently written in November, was found in her school bag where she said she was 'depressed' and wanted to end her woes.

'Tiyasa Biswas, a student of Class IX, committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan with a chunni. It was a premeditated act. We have registered an unnatural death case. The post-mortem and magisterial inquest have already been completed, and we have initiated an investigation,' said Sujay Chanda, sub-divisional police officer, Chandannagore.

Tiyasa's family members alleged that she was 'psychologically tortured' by her class teacher over the past two years.

When school reopened on Monday for a fresh academic session, Tiyasa found to her dismay that the same person would be her class teacher.

'Almost all of Tiyasa's classmates take private tuitions from the school teachers, but she never needed any extra coaching. Yet, she always scored between 75 and 85 per cent. Perhaps, that is why she treated her badly,' alleged Harasit Biswas, Tiyasa's father.

The school's principal, Sister George said she has never received any complaints against the teacher.

Around 9.30 am today, Harasit, a pathologist attached to the Chinsurah Imambara Sadar Hospital, received a call on his mobile phone from the school authorities.

'They asked me to go to the school immediately with my wife, but did not offer any explanation,' he said.

'When we reached, we were told my daughter had committed suicide and the police had already taken custody of the body. I hold the school authorities responsible. When I asked them what they were doing when Tiyasa killed herself, they had no answer,' he added.

Tiyasa had been depressed for the past two days after she learnt about her class teacher. Last night, she had told her mother Maya, who works at an AIDS clinic: 'My class teacher is the same person. My life has become a living hell.'

At the Biswas residence, a hysterical Maya was put on sedatives while Tiyasa's 12-year-old brother Hirak played cricket, oblivious of the tragedy.

At the school, parents expressed concern. 'The incident will adversely affect the morale of all the students. I am worried about my daughter Payel, who is in Class XII,' said Aparna Chakraborty

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